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tv   Your Bottom Line  CNN  September 18, 2010 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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all right. well, i'm going to rush right back to be with you at the top of the hour with more live news. but for now, i'm going to hand it over to stephanie elam and
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"your bottom line." student loans seem forever to pay off. what to do if you fall behind on your payments. the doctors, they're in the house. you may recognize these docs from tv and they're here to share five-minute health fixes with you. and it's the one meal a day they eat out of your sight. how to pack the best school lunch for less. so the big debate in washington and at dinner tables across the country, the bush tax cuts. with congress having to act by january 1st to either extend them or let them expire, we want to know what affect those decisions could have on your bottom line. josh levs is here to show us what you might be paying the irs next year. >> steph, so we keep hearing this debate. but how will it affect your bottom line. we have a few examples we're using from the tax calculator at
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the tax policy center. and i want to introduce you to that. you can take a look at them and see how their taxes would change. this is our friendly neighborhood avatar couple. let's say their income is about $57,000 right now and right now they're paying taxes of about $3,500 a year. if the tax cuts went away, this couple would be paying about $2,000 more in taxes. and that's a lot of money. a big chunk of change for this couple. let's take a look at what the tax policy center calls a high earning. if they're over the $100,000 mark, if they're currently paying taxes about $9,400, their taxes would jump about $3,000, a little more than $3,000. and again, that's something they would really feel. it's a big chunk of change. now, let's do something a little different. we're going to look at a couple over that $250,000 mark and see what would happen if president obama's plan would be enacted. this couple earns $396,000, if right now their taxes are just
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over $100,000, about $102,000, their taxes would jump up about $6,000 to $108,000. now, there's a lot of availabva. and i will tell you the tax policy center is factoring in a permanent amt patch that the president wants. finally, last example here. what do we hear all the time in the debate about tax cuts? millionaires. so let's make this couple some millionaires right now. their income will now be $1.75 million and their taxes currently, at about $573,000. well, if president obama's plan were to be enacted, we crunch some numbers here, theirs would go up $645,000. that's about $70,000 higher in taxes than what they're currently paying. that's an example of what you hear in this debate that millionaires would end up paying more and that's where you get both sides of this debate. which is better for the country to have more of that money given to the government or left in the hands of these families to spend in various ways or not. you can, of course, find out how
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it might affect you by plugging in your information to the tax policy center website using that tax calculator. hopefully it'll show you how it'll impact your bottom line. steph? >> we love you and your avatar couples. thanks so much for that. turning now to another big story this week. college isn't paying off for everyone. an increasing number of graduates are defaulting on their student loans with the worst offenders coming from for profit schools. the overall default rate on federal student loans climbed to 7% in 2008, up from 6.7% a year earlier. that's the highest since 1997 when the rates stood at 8.8%. so we want to make sure that you know what to do if you fall behind on your payments. so we went right to the source of good information. lynette is a columnist with lynette, tell us, this is something that people need to be reminded of. if you default on your loans, what will happen? >> it gets really ugly really
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fast. not only can you ruin your credit rating, of course, that can impact your job options. a default stays with you forever, essentially, until you go ahead and rectify that situation. for people who have professional licenses like doctors, lawyers, even morticians, anybody who gets a state-generated license, not paying off that means your career license could be revoked. so it gets really bad. you could have your wages garnished, tax refund checks taken, all that stuff. >> does that mean there's a chain in how we're perceiving student loan debt? >> i think that increasingly people are recognizing that student loan debt is america's other huge debt problem. we've got to do something to fix it. people know about credit card debt. but people are asking questions, is it worth it to get a college education? is there a big payoff? or will i be saddled with debt for 30 years? >> that's something people don't think about. okay, look, i'm in a situation. can i defer my payments?
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can i get a payment plan? is that possible? >> absolutely. especially if you have federal loans, i encourage people to find out about the four different options that are available to repay your student loans. essentially boils down to this. the standard loan repayment program lets you pay off your student loans in ten years. there's also an extended loan repayment program, and an income contingent or income sensitive loan repayment program. doesn't matter, essentially those last three stretch out your payments to anywhere from 25 to 30 years. it could be as short as 12 ye s years, but you consolidate your loans, that'll give you relief on the cash flow side for monthly payments, but you are going to pay more in interest charges by extending those loans. >> you've got to do something about it. thanks for coming down. >> my pleasure. one way to cut the cost of college and jump start your education is to enroll in online courses. but you might want to listen to this first.
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here to make sure you don't fall victim to common mistakes the kim clark. she is joining us right now from washington. i'm glad you're here. i think this is a topic a lot of people really don't get. and you're saying the first thing they need to do is research the school. why is that? >> well, of course if you attend an online college or any college that's not accredited by a federally approved agency, you can't get federal financial aid like loans and grants, other colleges won't consider that transfer credit. and, of course, employers aren't that interested in it. and secondly, you were talking about student loans. the government publishes the loan repayment and default rates for just about every college. so it's a great idea to check out the colleges you're looking at to see if other students are drowning in debt or not. and you can do that very easily by going to the department of education's website and finding out those kinds of things. >> once you figure out this is an accredited place you can learn and take these classes, shouldn't you be prepared for how much time these online
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courses are going to take? >> well, i think a lot of people sign up for online courses thinking, oh, it's online, it'll be easy. but they're often harder than a regular class you would travel to. the teachers i talk to say at the minimum you have to budget 10 hours a week for classes and study. and don't think you can take a vacation in the middle. a lot of these classes require you to post something two or three times a day. so you can't go off for a week to cancun or something. >> and that's actually more involvement than you would have in a brick and mortar school. because you go to your class and once you're done with your class, you're done until you're there. if you're a person who likes interaction, maybe this isn't for you, right? >> exactly. they've been doing interesting research on who is succeeding and who isn't. and generally older students do better online because they have the discipline. if you're somebody who is a procrastinator, they're in the for you. if you need someone to yell at you to make sure you do assignments, they're not for you.
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if you're an older student, very disciplined, take an online course. >> if you are taking online courses, you've got to be prepared with glitches with your technology and also saying you should consider some things about the teacher, as well. what is that? >> right. well, if you're a technophobe or you have an unreliable connection, it's going to be difficult to complete. secondly, teaching an online course is just like anything else and people get better about it with practice. it's a new field, so a lot of professors are entering into this and not so good at it. it's kind of good to check and see if your teacher has had some experience. and there are some websites where you can see what other students think about them. >> and the last thing here that i think a lot of people might think that the teachers aren't going to know if you cheat. you're saying not so fast. >> right. it's so easy when you're online to highlight a little phrase from wikipedia and cut and paste
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into your article or paper, but, of course, the professors have technology too. there's programs such as that can catch, even if you steal three words, they'll notice it from almost any website, any website. so you can't cut and paste. you really have to do your own work. >> be careful with those three words. don't start every paragraph with the trouble is. thanks so much for your time today. >> you bet. lots more ahead this morning on the show that saves you money. the doctors from "the doctors" are here. and does this make my assets look fat? now, now, it's a book. we'll see if they can put you on a financial diet. skincare, exclusive ion2 complex combined with activating cream helps restore collagen depleted skin. neutrogena clinical skincare is clinically tested to undo the look of a year's worth of skin aging in just 4 weeks. do-overs do exist. [ female announcer ] clinical skincare.
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discover what one can do. so guess what, everybody, there's a power shift happening in american households. women now control more money than the men and that's according to the life insurance company. let's make sure whether or not you're a man or woman in this case that you have all of the tools you need to manage your money the right way. susan herschman is here. you're saying the way you manage your money is no different than the way you manage your diet. explain that to us. >> exactly. most people know how to manage their money, but they don't realize it. who hasn't been on a diet? so when you look at the language and the processes of investing, they are so similar to dieting. and that's what you have to understand is that it doesn't have to be intimidating. you know it and you can do it. >> yeah.
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something you've already got into your life already. so simply break down for us what exactly is the process of investing. >> yeah. the process of investing is the same exact four-step process as dieting. again. >> right in line. >> the first step in dieting, you weigh yourself and think about your goals. second step, you devise your plan, third step, you execute on your plan. go food shopping. and fourth, review and monitor. isn't it ironic when we look at investing the four steps are, set my goals, set my asset allegation, which is my investment plan. third is go shopping for investment products, and fourth, review and monitor. exactly identical. >> and then on top of that, when you're looking at where you're going to invest and how you're going to invest or how you're going to manage your diet, you've got your four basic food groups and four asset classes, right? >> exactly. and again, the parallels are uncanny. let's think of carbohydrates, for example. there's a lot of different kinds of carbohydrates, but the purpose is to give your body
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energy. and carbohydrates if we just think about them as stocks, right? stocks. what do they do? there'a lot of different stocks. we need to know the difference between the good stocks and bad stocks so to speak and what stocks are meant to give your portfolio energy. and we can go on and on in the book. does this make my assets look fat? we go through each class and identify a food group that matches it. >> i think when you're trying to diet, there's different reasons. maybe you need to gain weight, lose weight, whatever it may be. you're saying when you're investing, there's actually five phases of your investment life, as well. >> yes, five phases. third phase is wealth creation. you're 20, you're starting out, second phase is wealth growth. 30s, 40s, wealth accumulation, 40s to 50s, wealth preservation, you're in your 60s, wealth transfer, in your 70s. and at each stage, there's specific ways to invest and specific issues that you face that you really need to be aware of.
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>> and everyone needs to think about those phases. >> exactly. >> i do think we've learned this is a good case when you do want your assets to look fat. >> i love this. because i always walk around and think i've got fat assets and i'm happy. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. i have a question. is there a doctor in the house? actually we've got two. doctors travis and lisa from the hit tv show "the doctors" are up next with tips to save you money. every time we use our card. [ whistling ] no matter what we're buying. and since double miles add up quick... romans! get em! [ garth ] ...we can bring the whole gang. [ sheep bleats ] it's hard to beat double miles. whoa -- he's on the list. but we're with him. [ male announcer ] get the venture card from capital one and earn double miles on every purchase, every day. go to [ indistinct shouting ] what's in your wallet?
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you might recognize our next guests from our emmy award winning shows "the doctors." they're here with some quick and inexpensive ways to improve your well being. they have the new book and it's called "five minute health fixes" the prescription for a lifetime of great health. thank you so much for being here, dr. lisa, dr. travis. i know people are like why do you have doctors on a money show? what are you doing? but you're saying there are ways to be healthy that can help your budget, as well too in your new book, right? >> every minute you invest in your health today will increase your life span later on. so it'll pay off in the long run. >> you're going to have so much wealth later down the line if you take care of your health early. i'm an e.r. doctor, i see people come into the e.r. for
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conditions that could have been prevented. and i always stress prevention will save you money. health's more important, i have to say, than money. if you don't have your health, money doesn't matter. >> right. >> but one does beget the other, believe it or not. >> no, it makes a lot of sense. let's talk about a few topics that people are always talking about. one of them being their always their weight. there are some ways to prevent any issues, whether or not you gain weight, lose weight, whatever it may be. there are good ways to go about monitoring your weight. >> i love how your show is called the bottom line. we think of it is the bottom line getting bigger. there are lots of good tips in the book about how to lose weight and basically bicycling. this one used to say, why do you drive your car to the gym? i said, well, okay, i will try to do the bicycle. bicycling will help you save money, save gas and help that bottom line. >> it may seem extreme but i actually do bike to work. people may laugh but i am doing good things for my health.
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think about all the money you save in gas, maintenance. i am not saying everyone realistically can bike and walk to work. those are things to think about. if you are crunched for money, things good for your health your good for your wallet, especially when it gets back to food. people will say obesity. fast food is cheaper. i can save money by eating it. four walnuts a day, great for brain health. walnuts are a nutrient-dense food and relatively cheap for the nutrients you get. pack some almonds and walnuts in your back so you don't have to run and get fast food. it is good for your wallet and health. >> if you are going to do that, take the stairs and go up and find your way to it. >> and pack a lunch. >> and bring your lunch in. >> one of the debates you hear all the time, organic or not organic. is it worth it to spend the extra money for
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certain things, no. you can buy a lot of things in bulk and save a lot of money. fruits, vegetables that are packed with nutrients, sometimes freezen ones are good as well and we have talked about these on the show as well as in the book. >> if money is an issue and you want to go organic, try organic berries that are frozen, like lisa said, they are much more affordable than the fresh but they are just as good for you. >> one last thing that i think will stand out in a lot of people's mind. you are saying, if you want a healthy heart, go on vacation? >> so right. going on vacation doesn't take five minutes. plan something. whatever it is that you are dreaming with, start planning it now. start writing it down. save for that. you really need to take a break. stress, we found, has real health consequences, high blood pressure. so you really have to take those vacations. >> the best part is planning for
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the vacation. we found that is what decreases your stress the most. enjoy planning the vacation, because your mind is going somewhere else. you are getting excited and don't forget, when you are on vacation, it's okay to have some free time in the day. it's a vacation. >> you don't have to plan everything out. >> i think that's a very good idea. if you want more information, you can always check out the new book "five minutes to health." dr. lisa, dr. travis, thank you for joining us. the kids are back in school. they have their supplies. they have their homework. do they have the healthiest lunch. how to feed the kids the right way next.
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campaign teaching kids how to eat right. here, with healthy and fun lunch options is cat kensman. let's get right into it. tell us a bit about what we can do to make sandwiches more fun with kids. >> we were traumatized by those horrible soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we went to school with. we got a lower sodium peanut butter, still just as delicious, no added sugars. the lower fat ones, they add sugar to it. a few things to do it to make it more fun, use the whole grain bread and stamp out a cute little pattern on it. we are using a heart, send a little bit of love to school with the kids and get something cute like that. >> they will more likely get that. >> the bread scraps, turn them into croutons or bread scraps. you don't have to do peanut butter and jelly.
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you can do peanut butter and cut-up fruit. you can also go with a whole grain pita. >> what do we have to know about lunchmeat? >> something that is hormonefree. you are looking to the future. in the long run, you will be paying less for health care bills, so much better for you. generally, you want to avoid anything called lunchmeat that doesn't have identifiable meet in it. >> ang lo with the healthy idea is what i've found is if you give kids vegetables and don't make a big deal about it, they might eat it. if your kid has decided they are not into vegetables, what are some ways to get them into their body? >> send it along in cute little segments. it seems like a treat then. if you put it into cute little tupperware, it seems like a present they are opening.
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fresh snow peas are crunchy and delicious. put them in the oven for a short period of time, a little bit of cooking spray or salt. you can do that with kale, green beans or brussels sproutses or put it with hummus. >> that's good for you too. let's talk about these lunch kits and juice boxes. you are saying they are easy but not necessarily good? >> you are paying in the long-run with that with extra sodium. they may lower the fat but they will am p it up with sodium. a lot of them average out at 900 milligrams of sodium, which is most of the sodium you should get in a day as a kid. they are just not good for you. they are packed with all kinds of bad things. you might, these are going to cost you less in the long-run. >> if you are talking about environmental damage, let's talk about cute ways of getting the lunch to the school. you have containers that are really, really cute here.


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